Salmon is one of the most delicious fish. It has an oily and rich flavor and a buttery texture when cooked properly. Raw salmon can be frozen for two to three months, and it’s actually common for people to freeze it for later use.
In case you froze the salmon, but it’s freezer-burned, here is what can be done about it!
Using Freezer-Burned Salmon – Is It Safe?
The freezer-burned salmon is safe to eat because it’s only caused by air exposure. It has a different taste as compared to fresh salmon, but you can improve it by removing the freezer-burned parts.
The freezer burns affect the texture, color, and flavor of the dish and not its safety or shelf life. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to restore the texture and flavor of the salmon, but you can try the following tips to improve the flavor;
The first solution is to trim off the freezer-burned parts of the salmon and cook it in gravies or sauces that are seasoned with fresh herbs, such as celery. The fresh herbs and spices have a stronger flavor, which can mask the freezer-burned flavor.
Baked salmon is a great way of using the freezer-burned salmon. For this purpose, you should marinate the fish with dry mixed herbs, salt, and lemon juice. The herbs like thyme and rosemary are recommended.
The marinated fish should be placed in egg wash and then breadcrumbs before baking. The egg wash and breadcrumbs will help enhance the texture, while herbs and lemon juice add flavor.
One of the best ways of getting rid of freezer burn taste is to rehydrate them and soak them in spices and herbs. The fish curries have a liquidy texture that improves hydration, while intense spices add flavor to the dish.
In simpler words, as long as the salmon’s expiration date hasn’t passed, you can eat the freezer-burned salmon.
Common Signs Of Freezer-Burned Salmon
The most noticeable sign of freezer burn is discoloration, which includes grey spots on the fish and excessive buildup of ice on the surface. In addition, the freezer-burned salmon has a bland flavor, and the texture becomes chewy and dry when cooked.
The flavor and texture changes appear after cooking. In most cases, the freezer burn happens when you freeze the fish for too long or if you don’t wrap the fish properly before putting it in the freezer. This is because improper wrapping will expose salmon to the air.
Preventing The Freezer Burn
Even though freezer-burnt salmon is safe to consume, the burns can adversely impact the flavor and texture. Therefore, it’s important to freeze the fish properly and use it within two to three months.
In addition, you’ve to ensure that the fish is properly covered and isn’t exposed to air because exposure to cold air is the most common reason behind freezer burns.
The Right Way To Freeze Salmon
Following the correct freezing method will prevent burns, and you can follow the below-mentioned steps to ensure safe freezing;
- Take out salmon from the original packaging and glaze it (glazing is the process of dipping fish into clean water that helps form a protective layer)
- Put the glazed dish in the zip-lock bag or an airtight container. These products will create the vacuum seal effect, but if you use the bag, make sure you remove as much air as possible.
- Make sure that you don’t fill the container or bag with fish to the very top because fish freezes when it expands, so adding too much fish will cause cracking of the packaging.
- Write down the date on the packaging and put it in the coldest area of the freezer. The salmon can be frozen for over three months.
Another way of freezing is to put the salmon in the water. That’s because when the salmon is submerged in water, it eliminates the risk of air exposure, which prevents burns.
For this purpose, you have to clean the fish, fill the zip-top bag with water, and add fish to the bag (make sure that the fish is submerged).
The Bottom Line
The freezer-burned salmon is safe to eat as long as the expiration date hasn’t passed. You can use the salmon by trimming off the discolored and dehydrated parts. However, if the entire flesh has dark grey patches, it’s best to discard the fish.